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Word Count: 944
A literary technique that authors often times employ is giving to the characters a name to enhance the readers understanding of that character In The American Henry James uses this style with most of his characters names Often times the names may translate into an English word or it could even just sound like an English word The novel is better understood because of this and the reader can get more meaning out of each character and his or her personality traits In whichever way James chooses to depict names they intensify the readers comprehension The main character Christopher Newman is a prime example of Henry James use of this method He is named after Christopher Columbus the discoverer of America as he says early in the novel Did you ever hear of Christopher Columbusmy parents named me for him 6 This is just relating him ever more to America and distinguishing him from a European His last name Newman is very symbolic He has traveled to Europe and Paris to basically become a new man He has given up his previous life of business and hard work and is determined to live carefree and abroad Newman changes day by day and the reader follows along with these changes The name Claire de Cintr also enhances the readers knowledge of her as a person Claire in French means light and Cintr often can be translated as crazy or insane Claire is a light in many ways She always wears white clothing which can be very bright and seems to almost emit a glow when she is in a room Her personality is also very lightening She is well liked among everyone the reader is introduced to and always seems to attract the attention of people when she is in the room Newman says if you are going into a room with Madame de Cintr you neednt be afraid of being noticed
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